19 August 2020

Ebo Forest logging plans suspended

There is now hope for the forest’s rich diversity of plants and animals.

By Kew Science News

Sun shining through trees in Ebo forest with a river running through the middle

Last month the Government of Cameroon approved the first logging concession for Ebo Forest, an area hugely important for both plants and animals.

This has recently been cancelled, giving hope that unique threatened species will survive the extinction they would otherwise have faced.

In April more than 60 conservationists including four from Kew’s Africa team, signed a letter to Cameroon’s Prime Minister.

The forest also received huge international attention with actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio voicing his support on social media. Despite this, in late July the Government of Cameroon signed the decree to log Ebo. 

Ebo Forest, one of the largest intact rainforests in Cameroon, is home to incredible wildlife, including the only population of chimpanzee species that use twigs to fish out termites, and stones to crack open nuts.

It’s also a forest that has previously been relatively unknown to botanical science.

Scientists at Kew have been documenting the forest’s incredible array of plant species and collecting data with a view to designating the area as a Tropical Important Plant Area.

This data, along with that of primates, appears to have contributed to Cameroon President Biya’s decision to revoke the logging concessions. 

Dr Martin Cheek, Africa and Madagascar Team Lead and leading Kew's African TIPAs work says:

“We are hugely happy with this positive news for Ebo. Not only is Ebo of incredible global importance for its documented plant diversity, but it is the most exciting forest in Cameroon in terms of the high numbers of new scientific discoveries of species still being found.”


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